Minardi close to Bruni signing

Minardi close to Bruni signing

Minardi is one of the few teams left to finalize a driver line up for 2004 and boss Paul Stoddart confirmed that test driver Gianmaria Bruni is close to signing up for a race seat next year. Bruni started testing for Minardi this summer and the 22...

Minardi is one of the few teams left to finalize a driver line up for 2004 and boss Paul Stoddart confirmed that test driver Gianmaria Bruni is close to signing up for a race seat next year. Bruni started testing for Minardi this summer and the 22 year old Italian has seemingly impressed Stoddart in his Friday morning test sessions on race weekends.

Gianmaria Bruni.
Photo by Elmar Vat.
"We expect to announce one driver pretty imminently, hopefully in November," said Stoddart. "We are closest to doing a deal with Bruni."

It's not known if Minardi is aiming to retain either of its 2003 drivers, Jos Verstappen and Nicolas Kiesa. Stoddart has made no secret of the fact that any prospective signing would have to bring a certain amount of cash to the team. Verstappen has been linked to Jaguar, as have a few drivers, but Stoddart hopes Jaguar will keep hold of Justin Wilson.

Wilson debuted in F1 with Minardi at the start of this season and moved to Jaguar for the last five races. "I believe a combination of Webber and Wilson would be one of the most powerful and an asset to any team," said Stoddart. "I sincerely hope Jaguar can keep those two together."

Minardi's 2004 challenger, the PS04, is likely to be based on the Arrows A23 chassis which Stoddart bought when Arrows went bankrupt. The car was tested at Mugello at the start of October Stoddart believes it has a lot of potential.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Gianmaria Bruni , Nicolas Kiesa , Justin Wilson , Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi